WASHINGTON — A man who underwent a sex change and now regrets it is urging people to resist transgender medicine and related therapies, saying we are medically "manufacturing" children as transgender and abusing them.
Speaking on a panel before a small crowd gathered at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Walt Heyer, a man who formerly lived and identified as a transgender woman named Laura for eight years. He underwent surgery in 1983 and spoke of his experience of being psychologically abused and how that contributed to significant discomfort with his body. This is now playing out on a massive scale, he said, and the medical establishment is pushing these dangerous hormonal treatments and surgical interventions on thousands of young people.
Heyer is the founder of Sex Change Regret and is reportedly hearing from many more people who now feel as he does.
"We get letters from parents or the transgenders themselves asking for help, after they've lived the life like I did for five, six, 15, 18, 20, all the way up to 30 years. And they are saying 'Walt, can you help me de-transition. This was the biggest mistake of my life.'"
He recently helped a schoolteacher, a pharmacist, and his good friend Jamie Shupe, the first man to be legally recognized in the United States as "non-binary."
"I think it's important for us to realize that there is nothing good about affirming a young boy at four years old like my grandma did me," he said.
Heyer's grandmother put him a purple chiffon dress and told him how wonderful he looked, which confused him. Children should not be sent those kinds of messages because it communicates that there is something wrong with them, Heyer said.
"That is child abuse," he asserted. "We need to be calling it what it is. It's not affirming a child. It's causing them to be depressed and anxious about who they are."
"The only reason I am able to speak to you today is because after 46 years dealing with this issue, I was able to de-transition in 1990 after I had psychotherapy, the very same psychotherapy [transgender activists] are trying to prevent people from having. Why? Because they don't want them to de-transition."
"It's painful to get these emails from people whose lives have been totally torn apart."
The entire basis of much of transgender medicalization is self-diagnosis.
"We are manufacturing transgender kids," he asserted.
"We are manufacturing their depression, their anxiety, and it has turned into a huge industry that people are profiting from after kids lives are completely torn apart."
"It's really beyond my understanding why we are even having this discussion because it shouldn't be happening. I don't believe any doctor who injects a young person with hormone blockers should have a license to do so."
People must start speaking up about this, he stressed.
"We do not know who the transgender kids are," he said, referencing the words of Kristina Olson, a research psychologist at the University of Washington who has said scientists "don’t have definitive data one way or another" on who is and who is not transgender.
"Do you get that? That should sink in. They cannot actually identify who trans kids are except by them saying so. There is no test. there is no proof," he said.
Even the American Psychological Association says in their handbook that children are not born transgender, he pointed out.
"And yet, we're treating them with medical treatment as if they were and trying to alter them. They're not born that way," Heyer said.
"I want to say it again. We are manufacturing transgender kids," he reiterated.
As a result of the trauma from the gender reassignment surgery, Heyer recounted that he drank heavily and used cocaine to stifle the pain.
Heyer has worked with hundreds of people over the past decade who have sought to de-transition and over half of them were sexually abused, he said. Heyer himself was sexually abused several times when he was 9 years old by his uncle. His parents did not believe him and said he was a liar, which compounded his gender confusion.
"Boys who were abused at a young age come to the conclusion that the only way they can prevent themselves from being sexually abused again is to cut off their genitalia and become females. In their mind that is their defense mechanism for sexual abuse. Girls who were sexually abused want to be men as a way to fend off any intruder or sexual abuser so they will no longer be attractive for sexual abuse," Heyer said.
"We're ruining an entire generation of young people, and it's serious business. I'm not pulling any punches anymore. And you shouldn't either," Heyer concluded.
Representing the Kelsey Coalition — a recently formed non-partisan group of parents of trans-identifying children that have been harmed by transgender medical treatments — one such mother, "Elaine," explained the horror of what can happen when surgeons cut off the reproductive organs of minors, highlighting the case of transgender television star Jazz Jennings of TLC's "I Am Jazz."
"Jazz was born a boy, but raised as a girl since the age of 5. He was treated hormonally since age 11. Last year, at the age of 17, Jazz had surgery to remove his penis and create a simulated vagina out of his stomach lining," Elaine said.
An emergency follow-up surgery had to be performed after the initial operation because Jazz’s wounds began separating and a blood blister began to form.
Jennings' doctor said that as he moved Jennings to the bed he heard something go "pop," and upon examination "the whole thing had split open.”
"This is a medical experiment on a child that has been playing out on television for the past 12 years. No one knows what might happen next," Elaine asserted, urging that the clinics that perform these operations be shut down.